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When I was a child I used to frequently hear the television ads extolling people to “Buy U.S. Savings Bonds!” Here’s one such ad from 1972.

Sometimes celebrities were used to encourage Americans to buy U.S. Savings Bonds.

Those ads with their message to all Americans to do their patriotic duty and buy those savings bonds seemed to have gone away with the election of Ronald Reagan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such an ad on television. I was reminded of those ads recently when I started watching a DVD collection of episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle. In the Special Features section of that DVD collection there were the original ads that were made urging people to buy U.S. Savings Stamps and Bonds. Someone uploaded those ads on to YouTube so you can see them for yourself.

Way back in 1979 I received a $25 U.S. Savings Bond as a Christmas present from my godfather and his wife. (His wife wasn’t my godmother for this simple reason. After I was born and my parents decided to baptize me in the Roman Catholic faith, my Episcopalian father recruited one of his single Catholic friends as my godfather. My Roman Catholic mother recruited her closest childhood friends and Catholic school classmate to be my godmother, who was also single as well. Sometime after my baptism my godmother got married, moved to Texas, and my mother soon lost touch with her. So I haven’t seen my own godmother since I was an infant. As for my godfather, he got married and they had three children. I would see him and his family once a year while I was growing up.)

The Savings Bond came in a nice holiday envelope.



Here’s the envelope when it was opened, which revealed the top portion of the U.S. Savings Bond along with the writing indicating that it was for me and from my godfather, John, and his wife, Pat.


Here’s the front of the U.S. Savings Bond.


Here’s the back of the U.S. Savings Bond.


The only stipulation was that, unlike bank checks, I couldn’t get my parents to cash it in right away. Instead I had to hold on to it until it matured. It usually doesn’t take long for a U.S. Savings Bond to mature. But I held on to it for many years mainly because I couldn’t figure out how to cash it in. I brought the U.S. Savings Bond, along with my other various belongings with me, around the time that I got married. I kept it in a drawer for many years because I felt intimidated by the prospect of figuring out how to cash the dang thing in.

I came across this U.S. Savings Bond again when I was decluttering my home after my husband walked out on me and I ended up divorced. I decided that I would make the effort to cash it in if I ever encounter tight finances. Finally, in December 2015, I decided that it was the right time for me to figure out how to cash it in. By that time there was a little thing called the Internet along with a search engine called Google so I researched how to cash in that U.S. Savings Bond.

It turned out that all I had to do was take it to a bank. I walked in my local bank and I found out that it was similar to cashing in a check except the teller had to fill out an additional form for me to sign. So I got the full amount of the matured U.S. Savings Bond—$25. It’s only too bad that $25 doesn’t go as far as it once did when my godfather and his wife gave that U.S. Savings Bond to me back in 1979. Oh well.